Business Commitment to the CommunityBack to Winners
Sponsored by Golding Homes
The academy is a community interest company providing an alternative teaching style for young people who struggle with traditional classroom education.
Founder, Brent Lewis, set up the non-profit business in an attempt to create a place that would inspire and engage those who may otherwise be left behind by mainstream schools.
It provides an alternative teaching style, engaging students through art and woodwork with its bespoke syllabus designing and building skateboards.
In 2014, Brent was the company’s only member of staff, but by 2015, he had employed four part-time workers and seen turnover increase by 1,525%.
The organisation, which became a registered charity in 2017, has two sites; Whitstable and Canterbury Academy. Its work helps KCC in its aim to reduce those not in education, employment or training.
The non-profit business is supported by a community skate shop, also founded by Brent, called Far Skate. Looking ahead, there are plans to set up academies in Folkestone, Gravesend and Dartford, in the hope of reaching as many young people as possible.
Business manager, Andrew Lewis, said: “Everyone is welcome at The FAR Academy. Some of our students have had more to deal with in their short lives than many of us could imagine.
“Since the academy’s inception in 2009, Brent has had a strong commitment to foster lasting improvements in the community. He now leads a small, award-winning team of four staff who are passionate about making education and enterprise the key for young people to succeed.”
Brent, who is a qualified teacher, is determined to prove that disadvantage is never a barrier to achievement.